I stumbled upon this book recently, Beauty Junkies by Alex Kuczynski. The stories told by this New York Times Style reporter are literally stunning.
Alex worked the beauty beat for years, in one of America’s most plastic obsessed cities, riddled with wannabes from all ages, and lifestyles. She tells of male lawyers obsessed with botox injections, because they need to have that perfect “poker face” in court.
And I know all about Body Dismorphic Disorder, but I suspect that in the majority of cases Alex details in her book, BDD is not the culprit. Our good old friend Self Esteem is lacking in these individuals, and lacking badly.
Take Mrs. X, the wife of a powerful Hollywood Executive (she refrained from revealing her real name). She manages her daily schedule around primping and pumping needs. “It is her profession, hobby, passion, and primary relationship,” Alex explains.
Hairdresser: 2 times per week for color, style, stripping, you name it.
Exercise: Daily tennis for toning
Skin: Self Tanner (separate one for face, body and hands), once a week a facialist steams her pores and gently squeezes them, Marina Chicet Brain Lipid Serum slathered on the face daily to allow the cow brain extract to conceal her wrinkles.
Water: Only Penta, due to the high-energy sound waves that are used to make this water more hydrating than any other.
Vitamins: Murad Wet Suit to build collagen, and a cup of probiotic blue-green algae each morning for who the hell knows what.
Nails: Twice per week, buffed not polished, for a younger look.
State of Mind: Rolfing treatments in a series, not sure how many sessions that includes.
Makeup: She does not leave the house, without a professional appling her makeup. Oh, and her makeup artist has an assistant.
Teeth: Cleaned every 8 weeks, natural ones are whitened, veneers replaced annually
Eyebrows: Tweezed and tinted every other week.
Eyes: Lasik perfect.
Doctor visits: monthly, utilizing various techniques including Gore-Tex, Botox, collagen, Retylane, Artecoll.
Plastic surgeon visits: consultations 3 times per year, about 1 surgery annually.
Procedures done: liposuction, tummy tuck, two variations of a brow lift and face lift, upper eyes, lower eyes, implants twice (first batch were not large enough).
I am exhausted just thinking about this woman’s schedule. Exhausted, and so very sad for her. This quote encompasses her lack of self worth in a nutshell.
Alex asks her ” Is it difficult to be the wife of a powerful guy in Hollywood?
“How do you mean,” Mrs. X inquires.
“Do you ever wish you had a career?” Alex states.
There is a briefest of pauses.
“No, because I was never really going to be that good at anything,” she says. “Or at least I was never going to be so good at anything that I would have made a difference.”
Damn, I am glad to be me.